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Opinion

Mike Ashley goes no comment on Friday’s Newcastle United claims – No change

2 months ago
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Just coming up to two years ago, Mike Ashley minion Lee Charnley admitted on behalf of his boss, that the club had failed Newcastle United fans.

Specifically, the club’s MD stating that the communication with supporters hadn’t been good enough.

Lee Charnley going on to commit to far better communication moving forward…

Those promises came on the very first day of the 2019/20 season. Newcastle at home to Arsenal on 11 August 2019 and Lee Charnley having his very own column in the match programme (see below) for Steve Bruce’s first game as NUFC Head Coach.

We have learnt over a considerable amount of time to treat promises made by Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and other Ashley minions with the utmost scepticism, sure enough, we haven’t been left ‘disappointed’ these past two years.

The club’s communication with Newcastle fans has somehow managed to be even worse these past 23 or 24 months.

Earlier today (Friday 30 July 2021), a newspaper exclusive reported that Mike Ashley had given Steve Bruce a new three year contract.

Not surprisingly, this claim ensured a lot of debate amongst Newcastle fans, but when the Chronicle asked the Mike Ashley’s club about the Bruce claims, it was a ‘no comment’ response.

When has it been anything else? When have Mike Ashley and those under / around him at Newcastle United, ever treated the supporters with anything but total contempt?

Accounts

We still know nothing about the finances of the club since before Steve Bruce was brought in.

All the other 19 Premier League clubs have published their accounts for the 2019/20 season but not NUFC, Ashley and his people giving absolutely no communication / explanation as to why this is so.

Takeover

The arbitration is put back until at least early 2022, the anti-competition case won’t be heard until who knows when, as it will now be September 2021 before there is even a jurisdiction hearing to decide if they are able to actually hear the case.

Despite this, absolutely no overall update from Mike Ashley to the Newcastle fans. Yes, there are certain things that can’t be talked about due to NDAs, but that doesn’t prevent getting other messages out that would give some reassurance to supporters and a certain amount of background to what may or may not happen.

Signings

Day 52 and not a single NUFC signing.

All of the other 19 Premier League clubs have made at least one signing, whilst Newcastle’s relegation rivals Norwich and Watford have made six or seven.

Only 16 days until NUFC’s Premier League season kicks off, yet nothing at all from the club from those above Steve Bruce and his endless waffle / nonsense.

Furloughed staff

Not one acknowledgement in the 16/17 months that Mike Ashley has furloughed all / some NUFC non-playing and coaching staff.

Newcastle United staff told media who reported this from March 2020 onwards and then the Government have for some time listed each month which companies are using the furlough system, with NUFC always amongst them.

These are just a few areas of Newcastle United where Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and the likes of Justin Barnes, have let Newcastle fans down. There are countless others, especially when it comes down to communication.

Then Mike Ashley demands the right to transparency from the Premier League and others…you couldn’t make it up.

Lee Charnley in the match programme for Steve Bruce’s first game, the Arsenal match on Sunday 11 August 2019:

“We go into today’s match following changes on and off the pitch over the summer months.

“I appreciate it has been at times, and certainly during the early part of the break, a period of uncertainty for supporters.

“We want to communicate clearly and proactively, but it is important that we do so at the right time.

“Sometimes we must adopt a ‘no comment’ policy and I accept that can be – and has been – frustrating. There are reasons behind that approach.

“Often, there are legalities at play or we may take the decision in order to respect the integrity of a process or the individuals involved. What we won’t do is fuel speculation by offering a running commentary.

“Instead, when we have something definitive to say, we will say it, as we did as soon as Rafa’s position became clear.

“We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa’s departure caused. We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let’s be clear, he moved to China for money.

“Whilst I have stated above that I felt our approach during the summer was necessary, I accept we need to do more from a communication perspective moving forward.

“There is certainly a need to communicate more as a club and to let fans know where we are heading collectively.

“That goes beyond the responsibility of just the head coach or manager in isolation; something we have relied on far too heavily in the past.

“We want to give you more of an insight into what happens across the club and you will therefore be hearing more from me, as you are today…”

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